PRE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA

Abstract

The main task of the Constituent Assembly was to determine the state system of the First Republic of Georgia, develop and approve the main law of the country - the Constitution. The Regulations for Elections of the Constituent Assembly provided for the election of 130 deputies through general, equal, secret and direct elections on the basis of proportional representation. Citizens of both sexes of the Republic had the right to vote from the age of 20.


Elections were scheduled for February 14-16, 1919. The whole of Georgia was declared one constituency and the number of the electorate was determined - 876 910 voters. The Central Election Commission (chaired by the Social Democrat Alexander Lomtatidze), city, uyezd, village and precinct election commissions have been created.


Fifteen parties, unions and groups were registered to participate in the elections, among which, in addition to Georgian political parties, there were also ethnic minority organizations living in Georgia. In total, the number of candidates on the lists of electoral subjects exceeded 550, including 26 women.


The election campaign took place in a polarized but transparent environment. The fierce pre-election struggle of political forces is clearly reflected in their slogans and advertising materials (posters, banners, campaign documents, newspaper advertisements) and is covered in this article.


Despite the tense environment, citizens were free to express their political will and vote for the list of preferred candidates. The Social Democratic Party of Georgia won the elections with a convincing 84% of the vote, won 109 seats and took over the country's political helm. The remaining 21 seats were shared by National Democrats, Federalists and Socialist Revolutionaries.


Due to the fact that, for various reasons, the elections could not be held on the entire territory of the republic, it became necessary to call additional elections. The first by-elections were held in August 1919, the second in May 1920. The by-elections did not greatly change the balance of power in the Constituent Assembly, which ultimately turned out to be as follows: 102 seats remained for the Georgian Social Democratic Party, 9 for the Georgian Social-Federalist Party, 8 for the Georgian National Democratic Party, 6 for the Party Socialist-Revolutionaries of Georgia, 3 - Dashnaktsutyun and 2 places - National Party of Georgia.


During the pre-election process and on election day, some inconsistencies and violations were identified, including several cases of violence by the authorities and the use of administrative resources.


Keywords: Georgia, Democratic Republic, Constituent Assembly, Political Party, Electorate, Elections.

Published
2021-12-23
How to Cite
JANELIDZE, OTAR. PRE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA. HISTORY, ARCHAEOLOGY, ETHNOLOGY, [S.l.], n. VI, p. 162-188, dec. 2021. ISSN 2449-285X. Available at: <http://www.sciencejournals.ge/index.php/HAE/article/view/182>. Date accessed: 01 dec. 2022.
Section
SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES - SECTION OF GEORGIAN HISTORY